‘I sincerely hope that this matter is not prosecuted before the court,’ magistrate to police
By Nick Fielding and Tim Wood | 29 July 2014
Exaro today publishes in full a damning police report on sexual abuse by late Liberal politician Sir Cyril Smith.
We forced the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to disclose the document after a 16-month battle for disclosure. The CPS released the report after initially refusing, in response to our request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Written by a detective superintendent for the chief constable of Lancashire Constabulary, the document as disclosed by the CPS is quite heavily redacted and one page is missing.
“The prosecution can do no good at all, and the backlash will have unfortunate repercussions for the police force and the town of Rochdale”
– Rochdale magistrate quoted in police report
Last September, Exaro revealed a confidential cache of official documents that detailed a shocking catalogue of child abuse at Knowl View special school in Rochdale. The evidence is that Smith, the former MP for Rochdale who died in 2010, was among the perpetrators there.
One report warned the then directors of education and social services at Rochdale council that “sexual activity” at the residential school “will become a public scandal.”
Our disclosures were widely followed up by other media outlets.
Exaro also revealed in May last year that Greater Manchester Police (GMP) was dropping the investigation into Cyril Smith.
That disclosure prompted GMP to announce an investigation into three complaints of sexual abuse at Knowl View, although none was against Smith specifically.
And last week, GMP announced a wider investigation into who covered up for child sex abuse at Knowl View, where Smith was a governor.
It comes in the wake of the announcement earlier this month of an overarching inquiry into child sex abuse at a wide array of institutions in the UK. The police also acted following publication of ‘Smile for the Camera’, a book that was co-authored by Simon Danczuk, Labour MP for Smith’s old seat in Rochdale.
Smith died in 2010, and was never prosecuted. The CPS admitted in 2012 that it would have prosecuted then on the strength of the evidence that was presented in 1970, and on two later occasions in 1998 and 1999.
Meanwhile, Exaro revealed in April that boxes of archived documents had turned up that could provide crucial clues about child sex abuse linked to Smith.
The police report reveals that one person who sought to cover up for Smith was a magistrate.
The detective superintendent quoted what the magistrate said: “I sincerely hope that this matter is not prosecuted before the court. In my opinion, as a justice of the peace, it is not court worthy. The prosecution can do no good at all, and the backlash will have unfortunate repercussions for the police force and the town of Rochdale.”
He added: “It is no secret that Cyril and I are buddies, and not only politically.”
Click on the link below to download the full police report of 1970, as disclosed by the CPS in response to Exaro’s FOIA request.
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